The Twilight Time, Paperback
3 out of 5 (6 ratings)


ANNA CAMERON is a new Sergeant in the Flexi Unit. On her first day in the new job she discovers she'll be working with her ex, Jamie.

In at the deep end emotionally, she's also plunged headlong into the violent underworld of Glasgow's notorious Drag - the haunt of working girls, drug dealers and sad, seedy men.

CATH WORTH, Jamie's wife, watches jealously from the sidelines, having given up police work to raise their child.

Anna's life could have been hers; hers could have been Anna's.

When Cath attempts to get involved in a situation she is no longer equipped or entitled to tackle, the consequences for both women could be far-reaching. Atmospheric, affecting and beautifully written, THE TWILIGHT TIME is a stunning crime debut from a remarkably talented new writer.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Crime & mystery
  • ISBN: 9780340935606



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Showing 1 - 5 of 6 reviews.

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THE TWILIGHT TIME is the debut novel from ex-cop Karen Campbell - featuring Sergeant Anna Cameron as the central character. In 2009 Campbell won Best New Scottish Writer at the Scottish Variety Awards, and there is now a second book out: After the Fire, which switches the viewpoint to two characters from the first book - Jamie and his wife Cath.But THE TWILIGHT TIME is a book that was recommended to me by somebody whose preferences I follow closely, and coincidentally was nominated as a discussion book on one of my email lists, so it was with some pleasurable anticipation that it was shunted up the To Be Read list.When Anna Cameron is bought into a local station as part of an active policing unit there's some disquiet around the place - she's mostly been a head office / policy sort of police officer before this and nobody's all that convinced about her ability to take over and run a unit. Fragile emotionally after Jamie dumped her anyway, discovering that she'll be working with him puts her under increased (self-imposed) strain, and when she finds that there is active resentment against her from other members of the squad, she starts to fall apart. Becoming obsessed with the murder of Ezra, a frail, old Polish man doesn't help her cause with anybody - especially as it isn't one of her own cases. When she is injured in the chase for a man who has been carving up the faces of prostitutes, Anna doesn't cope at all well when Jamie's wife Cath (an ex-cop in her own right, with a very bad case of post-natal depression), reaches out to her, having known Ezra as well.There's a hefty dose of angst, personal instability, depression, obsession, resentment, dislike, mistrust, lack of understanding, and selfishness in just about everybody in THE TWILIGHT TIME. To the point where it can be very off-putting. It's not often that you read a book and come out of it realising that there was a point in the narrative where you'd have cheerfully slapped just about every character. As somebody commented in the discussion we had about the book - there is a fine line between tough and obnoxious and some readers may choose to believe that Anna is tough - and others will be voting obnoxious. Personally I'm not adverse to a flawed central character, and I liked that Anna wasn't perfect and that there were signs of redeeming factors, although I will admit in THE TWILIGHT TIME there were too many flaws in too many of the characters. Having said that, I like characters that aren't too perfect and screw up and have bad days and are a bit grumpy and a bit stupid and occasionally daft as a brush, but stick with things, and care about something - and I really liked the way that Anna and Cath both cared about what happened to a lonely old man.In terms of plot - there were some good touches, with the mystery of the death of Ezra, and what seems to be, on the face of it a racist plot, quite interesting. It was also touching to be reminded that an old man could die, alone and mostly unforgotten and unremarked on. The other case that is being pursued by Anna's team is the carving up of prostitute's faces. This is resolved reasonably well, although at points it does seem to disappear into all the personal stuff a little, and in both investigations there were a few procedural twists and turns that didn't make a lot of sense. This is a debut book however, and sometimes they can have some flaws. The question really is would reading THE TWILIGHT TIME make me want to pick up the second book and it certainly did that.

Review by

Rather disappointing.I had been given to understand that Karen Campbell was set to rival Ian Rankin and Stuart MacBride as a leading purveyor of Scottish Crime Noir, but someone certainly sold me the dummy there. The plot was thin to the point of translucence, the portrayal of Glasgow's underbelly utterly unconvincing and the characters were totally unsympathetic. Still, at least the font was nice.I bought this secondhand on Amazon for £0.01, and if it hadn't been for the postage and packing charge I might just about have believed I got my money's worth!

Review by

I enjoyed it but I think of it as an introduction to the following novels.

Review by

A gritty police story set in Glasgow which almost needs the equivalent of sub-titles with its strong Gasgow "patois". I found it difficult to empathise with the main characters and a rather depressing read. I presume it won't do anything for Glasgow tourism!

Review by

I had read the third of this three book series and didn't particularly enjoy it, but knowing that it is popular with bloggers and other critics I thought I'd give the series another try and read Book One - and I enjoyed it very much. Anna is new to her unit, comes in as a sgt., labeled a fast tracker, with hints that she has a special friend in the higher levels who is pushing her career along. She doesn't wait long to enforcing her way of doing things and her expectations, and the troops resent the new discipline. One of the troops is Jamie, a former lover, and married to a former cop, Cath. Cath and Anna become entangled for a good part of this story with mixed results. Anna is bright but makes several poor decisions along the way and is called onto the carpet where her career path is temporarily altered. But in the long run, she does something heroic and she contributes to the solution of a major crime. By book's end, Anna seems to get her act together, but one wonders for how long. There is a lot of ruminating, a lot of internalizing, a lot of introspection here. A Lot! And the personal stuff of relationships seems to fill 60% of the story with the balance related to policing, but I may be off there. A solid effort and I'll read book two but I'm still book-to-book on this series.

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